1. The phrase, “backed by the full faith and trust of the US government” is less assuring than it used to be.
I included this one as a reminder that even the seemingly most reliable earthly objects of one’s faith is subject to weakness.
2. Doubt is the exact opposite of faith.
We all have doubts from time to time. It’s helpful to be reminded that faith and doubt are polar opposites. But, just as darkness helps us appreciate light, doubt is there to accentuate the greatness of faith.
3. Faith should be a verb instead of a noun.
Faith is a unique word in that although it is a noun, it cannot exist without some sort of action. Belief is a noun which is razor-thin close to the same as faith. We have the verb believe so why isn’t there a verb form of faith?
4. Faith produces action.
I know, this seems really close what I just said. But, it is a truth worth repeating and expanding. For example, if one buys an airline ticket, goes to the terminal, sees the plane, yet does not board the plane, they remain where the started from. Real faith in God ( belief ) requires one to yield his will to God’s will. Guidance for knowing His will is found in the pages of the Bible.
5. Your faith is going to encounter testing. Faith grows during trying times.
I can see this portrayed as I watch grandchildren fall when learning to walk, say funny phrases when learning to talk, cry when they get caught in disobedience or jump off the edge of a swimming pool only to realize they cannot touch bottom and have not yet learned to swim. Faith in God is a learning and growing process, too.
6. When people, and especially groups of people, put their faith in opposing entities, big problems, even wars, arise.
This one is important because living by faith in the God of the Bible will result in divisions and opposition. The more you express your faith, the more opposition you will encounter. It may come from your family, your friends and certainly will arise from those who have put their faith in anything (anyone) other than Jesus Christ.
7. You will catch a lot more fish by casting a bait you have faith in.
I am amazed at how fishermen like myself can be “caught” by shiny, colorful baits hanging on a wall in a tackle shop. I have spent way too much money on those that look so good to me in the store and yet they often seem to frighten away the very fish I am after! On the other hand, there are some baits that fill me with anticipation on every cast? Why is that? Because those baits have produced results in the past. It has been said, “there is no substitute for experience”. That’s true of faith. And it produces results every time.
8. No sports team will achieve success unless they have faith in the playbook, each other and in their coach.
I’m sure you see the analogy here of God’s Word, fellow believers and God. But, look a little deeper and you will see perhaps the most important distinction between Christianity and all the world’s religions. Christianity is a relationship and not a religion. It has just somehow been lumped into what is called religion.
9. Church is the Body of Christ. It was never intended to be an institution.
In the cross I can see a picture of the church. The vertical part represents our relationship with God and the horizontal represents our relationships with other people.
An Ecuadorian friend shared a quote with me which illustrates the relationship with people. “Es imposible para los hombres cumplir los mandimientos de la Biblia sin estar en relaciones significativas los unos con los otros”.
In English that says, “It is impossible for men to complete the commandments of the Bible without significant relationships with other people.”
10. Every person expresses faith in some form of god. There is only one God worthy of any person’s faith; the God of the Bible.
The Bible refers to those “gods” as idols. The list available to human beings is seemingly endless. Possibilities include wealth, power, recognition, a home, a car, a boat or even a person. These gods come with a hook; they relentlessly compete for our attention and weaken or prevent our faith in the God of the Bible.
So, how does one acquire faith in this God of the Bible? The answer is found throughout the Bible itself. One verse says it succinctly: “So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17